Android Police

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Android Wear 2.0 is launching in early February

Google was supposed to release Android Wear 2.0 last fall, but there were... issues. Specifically, feedback for the developer preview was quite negative. Google decided to reassess and pushed the release to early 2017. After a few more dev previews, here we are. Google has notified developers that Wear 2.0 is coming in a few weeks, so they had better get their apps ready.

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Gboard update rolling out with bug fixes for freezing and inconsistent glide typing

Google finally brought Gboard to Android last month after releasing it on iOS a while back. Of course, it was technically an update to Google Keyboard, but it was a significant one. The Gboard transition was not without its problems. An update is rolling out now to address some of the bugs with that first release.

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Google will require OEMs to support Android's notification bundling and direct reply features

Google released a new version of its Compatibility Definition Document for Android earlier this week, and while most of the changes are very, very minor, one did stand out to me in the section on notifications. Specifically, Google has singled out manufacturers who in any way obstruct or remove Android's native notification actions, replies, settings access, and the bundling of notifications. The latest document forbids such practices, stating that OEMs must comply with Google's implementations of the features in AOSP. Here is the relevant section:

Handheld device implementations MUST support the behaviors of updating, removing, replying to, and bundling notifications as described in this section.

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Google brings On Tap's screenshot feature to Assistant on the Pixel

Google got in a habit of dumping all sorts of features and incomplete ideas into Google Now on Tap. With the move away from On Tap, Assistant focused more on voice control and connected services. However, some of the useful features of On Tap were left behind too. In the case of screenshots, it looks like Google is bringing it back in Assistant.

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Netgear Arlo Pro review: Great at a few things, but just okay at the rest

Consumer security cameras have become a huge product category in the last couple year with the likes of Google, FLIR, and Logitech taking a swing at home monitoring. Your options are greatly reduced if you need a camera that operates for long stretches on battery or in the great outdoors. This is something Netgear has attempted to address with its Arlo security cameras. The new Arlo Pro adds a few features to the lineup, bringing it to parity with standard wired cameras. However, the wireless aspect means you'll have to make some compromises.

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Airlines in the US will soon stop making Galaxy Note7 ban announcements

The FAA has officially lifted its requirement on airlines to notify passengers that the Galaxy Note7 is banned while in flight. While the ban itself is still in place, and having a Note7 on a plane could still get you ejected from your flight - you'll just stop hearing about it from someone over a garbled PA system.

The FAA's release cites the current return rate of 96% for Note7s sold in the United States, along with the phone-bricking OTA update, as reason for lifting the announcement requirement. Out of curiosity, I decided to check in on Note7 traffic on Android Police, and in recent weeks it has dropped to near-negligible levels, with a growing number of days seeing effectively zero users accessing the site with Note7s at all.

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Synology DS apps see updates, Android TV, fingerprint and passcode security, and automatic backup features inbound

Uploading your files to the cloud might be fashionable these days, but some still like to keep their files, photos, videos, and anything else secure from prying eyes, yet still accessible if they're not at their computer. Synology, a maker of Network Attached Storage devices, which the company calls DiskStations (DS for short), has updated four of its apps; DS photo, DS file, DS note, and MailPlus.

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Children's card game Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links is now live worldwide in the Play Store

If you went to middle school at the same time as me, you might remember Yu-Gi-Oh. It's that show about a kid with an alien starfish attached to his brain that makes him hallucinate about ancient Egyptian playing cards destroying the world. (That's how I remember it, anyway.) Amazingly the twenty-year-old franchise is still around, and quite a lot of people seem to be continuing to play the associated Magic: The Gathering-inspired card game - enough that Konami, otherwise more or less uninterested in non-Pachinko games, has released a new mobile version.

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Powerful home automation app Stringify comes to Android and adds IFTTT integration

Ever since I got my Wink Hub 2, one of the services I kept seeing in conversations when trying to bridge together different smart appliances and services was Stringify. The app was limited to iOS though, so I never got to use it because I wasn't going to carry my iPad around all the time to toggle a light bulb. But at CES, Stringify made a few announcements that we just came across (excuse the delay, we had tons of emails and releases to sift through) and that are sure to please Android users.

Before going further, here's a quick rundown of what Stringify is for those of you who'd never heard of it.

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Play Store v7.4 reveals a new My Apps screen, remote authorization for family purchases, and more [APK Teardown]

Over the last several months, most of the changes to the Play Store have been on the smaller side, usually part of A/B tests to determine if individual tweaks to the interface would work better than others. An update began rolling out to users yesterday, bringing the current version up to 7.4. No significant changes seem to be turning up yet, but there are bits and pieces that hint at future plans. In this teardown, we'll be looking at a new version of the My Apps screen, statistics about reviews over recent history, remote authorization for family purchases, and even a strange requirement to install the Play Games app before taking some actions.

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